What gets Edmonton residents fired up? If one were to look at the city's preliminary data for its public engagement in 2023, the results suggest animal control, single-use items, and off-leash dog parks.
The city sent out more than 100 surveys last year, with the number of responses on each ranging from 20 to nearly 9,000, Dale Shekooley, acting lead strategist for integrated communications at the city, told Taproot.
The survey that elicited the most feedback was on the animal control bylaw, which garnered nearly 8,800 responses in December. The single-use item reduction bylaw received nearly 8,000 responses. Third place was engagement on off-leash dog parks, which saw more than 6,500 responses.
Snow and ice removal got keyboards clacking, too. A survey in April about it received about 4,100 responses. The related topic of community sandboxes got 2,900 responses.
But zoning bylaw renewal was what made people show up at city hall. The six-day hearing saw 279 speakers register to provide feedback both for and against the proposal. (The online survey for the related, but separate, topic of district planning received just more than 1,700 responses.)
The city creates regular opportunities for engagement, through in-person sessions at pop-ups, public hearings in city hall, and through surveys, which are open to the public and sent out via email to members of the Edmonton Insight Community.
More detailed statistics on civic engagement, like how many people attended in-person sessions, are not yet available as these initial numbers are still being validated. The city said some surveys were more popular due to increased distribution through public service announcements or media coverage.
Taproot compiles opportunities to offer thoughts on civic matters every week. Subscribe to The Pulse to get calls for public engagement delivered to your inbox.
Photo: A 2016 file photo of a public engagement session at city hall. (Mack Male/Flickr)